Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Council Signs Off Plans

June 26, 2006

Media Release (For Immediate Release)

Council Signs Off Plans

Waitakere City Council has completed deliberations on its 10-year Plan and Annual Budget for 2006/2007.

The budget (known as the Annual Plan) sets projects and priorities for the next financial year while the 10-year Plan (the Long Term Council Community Plan) is a new requirement under the Local Government Act and sets priorities for the next decade.

Councillors began their deliberations with the draft plan in February. This plan was then released for public submissions, after which hearings were held.

One of the key decisions was to drop a proposal to introduce a new rating system. A change to Capital Value would have seen around a third of the City’s residential ratepayers receiving a rates reduction. There were 428 formal submissions against the proposal, with 102 in favour.

“We asked the people for their views and we heard them loud and clear,” says Janet Clews who chairs the Annual Plan-Long Term Council Community Plan Special Committee.

The decision means that rates will continue to be levied under the Land Value system (which is based on the value of a bare section of a property without improvements, such as houses).

A second major decision was to not introduce “Pan Charges” for schools. This would have seen schools paying towards the costs of removing waste water, through a levy on the number of toilets each had. Such a scheme is in place in North Shore City.

“Once again we heard loud and clear that the schools simply could not absorb these costs”, says Councillor Clews.

“We firmly believe that the Government, through the Ministry of Education, should be funding the operation of schools, and that they shouldn’t be subsidised by rate payers. But the Government isn’t stumping up. We don’t want schools to be used as a political football so we have rejected the idea,” says Councillor Clews, who is a former school teacher.

The Council also introduced a $350 flat charge for wastewater for residential properties where connection can be made to the Council’s sewerage system. Previously all wastewater was billed according to a property’s land value. Properties in rural areas such as Whenuapai, Piha and Huia are exempt.

The approved budget for 2006/2007 shows a Council controlled average rates rise of 6.8%, one of the lowest of local authorities in the region.

The average residential property owner, with a land value of $150,000, will pay $1581 next year (an increase of $1.23 per week).

Major drivers of the Council’s cost increases are depreciation and interest charges.

Next year the bulk of the Council’s spending (81%) will be on what Councillor Clews describes as “the basics” of clean water, waste water, parks, roading and community facilities such as libraries.

Features of the 2006/2007 budget include:

- A 3000 seat covered grandstand and floodlights at the Douglas Track and Field in Henderson (next to The Trusts Stadium).

- Water rates remaining unchanged at $1.48 per cubic metre.

- $2.1million to begin work on a new Youth Centre in Henderson.

- The uniform annual general charge (a proportion of the rates bill paid by all properties regardless of their land value) has been set at $600. That has the effect of evening out rates across all properties in the City.

- $2 million for the first stage of the redevelopment of Lopdell House in Titirangi

- Adoption of a transport strategy that will see a capita investment of $149 million spent in the next decade on roading improvements, railway station upgrades, walkways and other public transport initiatives. This funding will attract a further $159 million in subsidies from agencies such as Transit New Zealand.

The Annual Plan and Long term Council Community Plan will be formally signed off next Friday (June 30), after they have been reviewed by Audit New Zealand. At that point the rates for 2006-2007 will be formally “struck”.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news